This is the second piece of a short series of posts about my recent visit to the beautiful Hebridean island of Barra.
I have a found a small white beach on the island of Vatersay where I can look out to Castlebay and the hostel where I am staying. The beach is beautiful. A small quiet jewel in a rugged landscape. If Barra and the causeway linked island of Vatersay were a pair of rugged hands, kind but used to working hard outside, this beach would be its wedding ring, glinting in the light.
When I walked on it with my heavy boots I made deep footprints – the beach doing its best to hold me aloft and keep me going on my journey. The beach is fragile, I instantly leave a wake behind me, but it is powerful and resilient. The grains I realigned with my strides will soon find new orchestrations – I get the sensation that new patterns are already emerging as the ocean nudges the shore and what is more
the beach is host.
Host to where my heavy footed mortality meets the sand’s immortality. This beach will stay here even though its individual components will break down, rearrange and travel on. The beach can retain its overall shape while weathering the storms both literal and the ones caused by my hiking boots. Despite interruptions the beach remembers to be a beach and trains the new grains how to hold together.
But then perhaps the same goes for me, I consist of several facets adjusting, transforming and moving on. The beach sees me, as much as it registers me at all, as a mini beach. It can see I also have deep footprints and flotsam and jetsam woven into me. From its perspective it can see all these interruptions will wear away as I weather the changes, holding my shape but readjusting. When I sit here at the beach my micro flurry of emotion, concern and memory sometimes cresting waves and sometimes struggling to stay afloat meets the gradual, macro rhythm of the beach which like me – changes but doesn’t. What I do know is that
both of us feel the pull of the ocean.